Daniel Dubois vs. Joe Joyce – preview & prediction
By Brad Slotnick: Tonight, British heavyweights Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will be meeting up for a fight in London that could have massive ramifications for the future of the division. The start time for Dubois vs. Joyce is at 2:00 p.m. ET in the United States and 7:00 p.m in the UK.
#2 WBO Dubois (15-0, 14 KOs) will have his high ranking on the line for the fight, and that’s a spot that underdog Joyce (11-0, 10 KOs).
If WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua vacates his title in early 2021, as many believe he’ll do, then tonight’s Dubois vs. Joyce winner will square off with #1 WBO ranked Oleksandr Usyk for the vacant belt in the first half of the new year.
U.S boxing fans can watch Dubois-Joyce on ESPN+ app, whereas British fans can see it on BT Sport.
A lot of unknowns with Dubois
Dubois, 23, has been looking impressive in recent fights, knocking his last six opponents since 2019, but his opposition absolutely woeful from start to finish.
Of course, Dubois’ promoter has been matching him carefully against pedestrian level fighters that were no threat to beating him or making him look bad. That’s what makes tonight’s fight so interesting. We don’t know what we’re going to get with Dubois.
Daniel’s recent wins:
- Ricardo Snijders – TKO 2
- Richard Lartey – KO 4
- Nathan Gorman – KO 5
- Ebenezer Tetteh – TKO 1
- Kyotaro Fujimoto KO 2
- Razvan Cojanu – KO 2
As you can see, Dubois’ promoter has been matching him in the same exact way that they did with Audley Harrison and Kell Brook. A lot of soft opposition that lacked the talent to improve Dubois or show the boxing public what he’s capable of doing against world-class opposition.
Joyce, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist, has upset on his mind, and he’s eager to get in there and expose Dubois tonight. He wants to take Dubois’ #2 ranking with the World Boxing Organization so that he can face Usyk for the vacant belt.
Joyce lost a five-round fight to Usyk in the WSB back in 2012, but that was a long time ago. Joyce has put on a lot of size since then, and he would have a full 12 rounds to work on the smaller Usyk rather than just five like the last time they fought many years ago.
You can argue that Joyce is a better athlete than Dubois, but he’s also a lot slower and doesn’t pack the same kind of power. But Joyce does hit hard enough to knock out the 23-year-old Dubois if he can get him into a war of attrition, which is exactly what he’s shooting for.
Warren believes in Dubois
For Dubois to be given the green light to fight Joyce by his careful promoter Frank Warren, he has to believe that he’ll come out of the contest with his hand raised. If Warren had any doubts that Dubois would win this fight, he likely wouldn’t have made it.
Joyce’s excellent punch resistance, stamina, and fast-paced style of fighting could wear down the 6’5″, 240+ lb Dubois in the later rounds. Once Dubois has gassed out, Joyce will have a chance of knocking him out.
The lack of hand speed for Joyce is going to leave him open to getting hit a lot of Dubois’ best shots tonight. For Joyce to stand a chance of winning, he’ll need to take the contest to the inside and try and smother Dubois’ early while he’s still fresh and dangerous.
The best time for Joyce to take the fight to the outside is after Dubois fades, which could be as early as the sixth round.
This writer picks Dubois to win tonight. The youngster Dubois’s youth, speed, and power to be too much for the 35-year-old Joyce. Look for Dubois to take Joyce out by the sixth round or so, but it does to past that, we could see a referee stoppage by the 7th or 8th.
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